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Lara Atallah at Kent Place Gallery

Atallah’s show features hand-worked Polaroid photographs, a narrative video installation, and delicate blue cyanotype prints. Using the Mediterranean as a point of reference, she explores the political nature of landscape through the medium photography.

Her group of Polaroid photos titled “34.5531° N, 18.0480° E,” gets its name from the Mediterranean Sea’s coordinates, and consists of views along southern European and western Asian coastlines, along with sun prints made from pebbles and small rocks, culled from the various beaches. The photos were deliberately damaged in the first 30 seconds of their development. Devoid of any human presence, these distorted landscapes depict the sea as a somber place.

The narrative video featured in the exhibition is called “A Moratorium on Looking.” The film showcases the Mediterranean Sea as a terrain of leisure and peril. Filmed in Mytilene (on the island of Lesbos) and Athens, it is a contemplation of photography and the act of seeing.

Also on display is the “Faces of Poseidon” series, which comprises digitally altered cyanotypes made from exposing sand to photosensitive fabric and digitally sourced images of Poseidon.

Atallah, who was born in Beirut, holds an MFA in photography from Parsons/The New School of Design. Her work has been exhibited in the United States and internationally, and is part of the Onassis Cultural Foundation’s collection in Athens. Atallah was also the 2015 recipient of the Georgia Fee Artist Residency in Paris.

Kent Place Gallery is on the campus of Kent Place School, 42 Norwood Avenue, Summit, NJ. Gallery hours are school days, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For more information call (908) 273-0900, or visit www.kentplace.org/gallery.
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Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.